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Occupational Therapy Assistant (A.S.)

Program Director: Betsy McDaniel, COTA/L

The Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program at Middle Georgia State University requires a minimum of two years of study. Occupational Therapy Assistant courses are offered sequentially beginning in the Fall semester. Students must complete BIOL 1114K (Anatomy and Physiology I) and an additional 8 credit hours of the required core courses prior to acceptance into the OTA Program.

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program prepares graduates to provide entry-level OT services under the supervision of an occupational therapist. These services include the use of occupation based activities to develop, maintain, or restore function for individuals whose daily occupations are impaired due to physical or psychosocial disabilities, developmental deficits, the aging process, poverty, or sociocultural differences.

Accreditation Statement 
The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Middle Georgia State University received initial accreditation in December 1996 from the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), located at 6116 Executive Boulevard, Suite 200, North Bethesda, MD 20852-4929. The program was most recently re-accredited for a 10 year period in April 2012. Graduates of the program will receive an Associate of Science degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant and are eligible to take the national certification examination for the Occupational Therapy Assistant, administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT®), located at One Bank Street, Suite  300, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, (301) 990-7979. After successful completion of this exam, the individual will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). In addition, most states require COTAs to obtain a license in order to practice occupational therapy. However, the ability to receive a state license in Georgia is based on passing the (NBCOT®) certification examination. PLEASE NOTEA felony conviction may affect a student’s ability to complete Level II Fieldwork or a graduate’s ability to sit for the (NBCOT®) Certification Exam and attain state licensure. All students will be required to complete a background check upon admission to the OTA Program. If you have been convicted of a felony, you will be required to complete the Early Determination Review process with NBCOT® to determine eligibility to take the National Certification Exam and provide the OTA Program with documentation from NBCOT® indicating that you will be eligible to take the certification exam once all other eligibility requirements are met. Failure to provide the OTA Program with this documentation prior to the mid-term date in the first semester of the OTA Program will result in immediate dismissal from the OTA Program. For more information on the Early Determination Review process, please see the NBCOT® website.

 

Estimated Expenses 
OTA Program costs, in addition to regular MGA fees, include: 
Student Uniforms and Accessories (2 years) $ 150.00 
Textbooks - OTA Courses (2 years) $1,300.00 
Fieldwork Travel and Lodging up to $1,500.00 
Field Trip Travel up to $ 300.00 
Criminal Background Check up to $ 200.00 yearly 
Professional Liability Insurance $ 16.00 yearly
Drug Screen – approximately $100 yearly
AOTA membership $ 90.00 yearly
American Heart Association CPR certification up to $ 90.00 
Pinning ceremony expenses up to $ 50.00 in final year
Lab fees associated with OTA courses with labs - vary according to semester 
Physical - $50.00
TB Test – approximately $30
Immunizations - $710 max (if no immunizations prior to enrollment)
Specific OTA supplies and/or equipment - $60.00
Software - $10.00
Certification Exam after graduation - $550.00
Travel to clinical/fieldwork and field trip sites may be extensive. OTA fieldwork sites are throughout the state of Georgia and students need to be aware that they may have to travel or relocate in order to complete fieldwork requirements. Travel expenses, including living arrangements at distance sites are the responsibility of the student. Some students may be required to complete additional drug screens or other tests and/or vaccinations as required by their fieldwork sites and will be responsible for any associated fees. All expenses are approximate and subject to change. 

Applying to the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Program
The OTA admission process is separate from the University admission process and is handled through the Department of Rehabilitation Science. Students must be accepted to MGA before they are eligible to apply to the OTA Program.  The OTA Program has a maximum enrollment of 30 students per cohort, therefore admission to the program is competitive and not all applicants will be accepted. The most current criteria for admission to the OTA program can be found at on the MGA OTA website https://www.mga.edu/health-natural-sciences/rehabilitation-science/occupational-therapy-assistant/application.php The OTA Program application is completed online and is only visible when the Program is accepting applications. Applications and all required documents must be received by May 15th of the calendar year for which the student is applying.

Admission Information and Requirements:
1. Confirmed acceptance to Middle Georgia State University.
2. Completion of any required university placement tests and learning support courses.
3. Completion of BIOL 1114K (Anatomy and Physiology I) and an addition 8 credit hours of the required core courses with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. Students must earn a letter grade of "C" or better in all required courses. Students with Academic Renewal must complete at least 12 semester hours before the AR-GPA is considered.
4. Essential Competencies Policy: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures the qualified applicant with a disability has the opportunity to pursue program admission at public institutions. To determine whether an individual is a qualified applicant for programs or services, the ADA states that applicants must meet essential competency requirements. Essential competencies include critical thinking, communication, interpersonal skills, mobility, visual, hearing, and tactile abilities. The ability to observe, collect data and treat a patient independently, while ensuring patient safety at all times is an expectation of the OTA Program at Middle Georgia State University for all students.  A list of essential competencies and explanations is available at the OTA home page at https://www.mga.edu/health-natural-sciences/rehabilitation-science/occupational-therapy-assistant/documents.php 
5. Accommodations:  All students will be held to the same standards and must be able to perform the essential competencies of the OTA Program with or without reasonable accommodation. The OTA program at MGA is unable to make accommodations that impose an undue burden, present a threat to the health or safety of the student or others, or fundamentally alters the nature of the curriculum including didactic components, laboratory sessions, and clinical affiliations. Questions about the accommodation process may be directed to Accessibility Services at (478) 934-3023. 
6. A student who has had two unsuccessful attempts in any health science program will be ineligible for admission to the OTA program.
7. All applicants not selected in a given year must reapply to be considered for future cohorts.
8. Once accepted to the OTA program, the student must meet, and keep current, the following requirements: (Note changes in bullets)
Certification in American Heart Association CPR, which shall not expire during any month the student is actively enrolled in OTA courses.
Professional student liability insurance coverage in the amount of $1M single/$3M aggregate (offered through MGA) Health Insurance (available through MGA)
Annual health evaluation, including immunizations, Hepatitis series and yearly TB testing as specified by the program and /or fieldwork sites
Criminal background check
Fieldwork sites may require additional tests such as but not limited to drug screens. It is the student’s responsibility to comply with these requirements and pay any additional fees. Student’s refused admittance to a fieldwork site due to the results of a criminal background check or drug screen will be dismissed from the OTA Program.  OTA faculty will not be involved in the criminal background/drug screen process.


Academic Standards 

Once admitted to the OTA Program, students must meet the following requirements in order to complete the program:
1. A minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 2.3 is required to remain in the OTA course sequence.
2. A grade of C or better is required in all OTA program-related courses and core courses.
3. Passing grades of 75% in all lecture, laboratory, and Level I fieldwork portions of the courses as well as the professional behavior assessment scale are required to pass the courses. Other course-specific competencies may be required to pass the course. Students who do not pass the professional behavior assessment or any other portion of the course will receive a maximum grade of D for the course.
4. Students must pass all practical exams in OTA courses. Students will have only two attempts to pass each practical exam. Failure of the second attempt will result in failure of the course and students will receive a maximum grade of D for the course.
5. Academic progression policy
a. Some OTA courses and some general education courses are sequential. Students cannot enroll in an OTA course unless they have completed the required prerequisite OTA and general education courses with a grade of C or better. Students must complete BIOL 1114K (Anatomy and Physiology I) prior to entry into the OTA program. Students must enroll in PSYC 1101 prior to or in conjunction with OCTA 1421.  Students must successfully complete PSYC 1101 no later than first freshman spring semester.
b. Students must complete all OTA core classes prior to the final fall semester.
c. Students must complete the OTA program including Level II Fieldwork within a three calendar year span of time. 
d. Students must pass all Level II Fieldwork courses within 12 months of completion of academic preparation in order to graduate from the program or by December of the third year, whichever occurs first. Students who fail a Level II Fieldwork course must retake the course the next semester that the course is available. Students who are failing may request to withdraw from Level II fieldwork courses one time only.
e. Students must complete all academic requirements and all OTA core courses prior to attending Level II Fieldwork.
6. Students can have only one failure of any OTA course, including Level II fieldwork courses. More than one failure will result in dismissal from the OTA program. Continuation in the OTA program after failure of even one OTA course is at the discretion of the OTA faculty. The student must be eligible to return to the OTA program and to MGA.
7. The grading system for all OTA courses is: A=90-100, B=80-89.99, C=75-79.99, D=60-74.99, F=below 60; grades will not be rounded.
8. Students who fail out of the OTA program will not be eligible to reenter the OTA program.
9. Students who drop or fail OCTA 1300 must re-apply to the OTA program. Readmission is at the discretion of the OTA faculty.
10. Students must provide proof of membership in AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association) by the end of the second week of class of the fall semester each year. Students must maintain active AOTA membership until they graduate from the OTA program.
11. Students must turn in all signed forms to the OTA administrative assistant by the end of the drop/add period in the fall semester.
12. During the final semester before Level II Fieldwork, students will perform a Pre-fieldwork Clinical Skills Assessment that will evaluate essential, safe, clinical practice skills. Results will be mailed to Level II Fieldwork sites with the student’s permission. Students must receive a minimum score of 75% on each section of the assessment. Students will have 1 retake attempt. Failure on the 2nd attempt will result in delay of Level II fieldwork by at least one semester. Students who fail the 2nd attempt must develop a written remediation plan for the next semester to be approved by the OTA faculty. Upon completion of remediation activities during the next semester, students will be allowed to test on the overall Pre-fieldwork Clinical Skills Assessment one last time. Students who pass the final Pre-fieldwork Clinical Skills Assessment will be rescheduled for the next available semester that Level II fieldwork experiences are offered. Fieldwork experiences will not be offered summer semester. Students who do not pass 75% of each section on the final attempt of the Pre-fieldwork Clinical Skills Assessment will be dropped from the OTA program and will not be readmitted. 
13. First year students must turn in all required documentation to the Fieldwork Coordinator by November 15th. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the OTA program.
14. Second year students must turn in all required documentation to the Fieldwork Coordinator by October 10th. Failure to do so will result in the student being dropped from any OTA practice classes in which they are enrolled, which will result in dismissal from the OTA program.

 

Clinical Requirements
Accepted students must meet the clinical requirements of all affiliated fieldwork sites by established deadlines, to include, but not limited to:
Completed health history and physical
Completed immunization form
TB screening
Criminal background checks
Urine Drug Screen
Healthcare Provider CPR certification through the American Heart Association
Note: Students must maintain ability to meet OTA Program Essential Competencies with or without reasonable accommodations. Students experiencing a change in health status may be required to resubmit health forms.
Note: Students must have a criminal background check and urine drug screen performed by a company approved by the OTA Program. Fieldwork sites will review the criminal background check and urine drug screen results. The student must be approved by the affiliated fieldwork agency in order to participate in clinical experiences and progress in the program. Students denied acceptance by any fieldwork affiliates will not be able to attend fieldwork experiences and therefore will be dismissed from the OTA Program. Random criminal background checks and/or urine drug screens may be required while in the OTA Program. This testing, if required, will be at the student’s expense. 
 

Curriculum for the Occupational Therapy Assistant (ASOTA) Program

Note: The Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant Program fulfills general education requirement for a career associate degree.

Critical Reading and Writing (Credit: 6 hours)

ENGL 1101English Composition I

3 credits

ENGL 1102English Composition II

3 credits

Natural Sciences/Mathematics Elective (Credit: 3 hours)

Choose one of the following courses:

MATH 1001Quantitative Reasoning

3 credits

MATH 1111College Algebra

3 credits

MATH 1112Plane Trigonometry

3 credits

MATH 1113Precalculus Mathematics

3 credits

MATH 1113HHonors Precalculus

3 credits

MATH 1251Calculus I

4 credits

MATH 1401Elementary Statistics

3 credits

NOTE: Recommended course is MATH 1401 Elementary Statistics 

Humanities/Fine Arts Elective (Credit: 3 hours)

Literature Elective 3 credits

Social/Behavioral Sciences (Credit: 9 hours)

HIST 2111United States History to 1865

3 credits

OR

HIST 2112United States History since 1865

3 credits

OR

POLS 1101American Government

3 credits

 

PSYC 1101Introduction to Psychology

3 credits

PSYC 2103Introduction to Human Development

3 credits

NOTE: Students must satisfy the U.S. and Georgia history requirement with either the U.S. and Georgia History Exam or HIST 2111 or HIST 2112. Students must satisfy the U.S. and Georgia constitution requirement with either the U.S. and Georgia Constitution Exam or POLS 1101.

 

Major Field Courses (Credit: 51 hours)

BIOL 1114KAnatomy and Physiology I

4 credits

BIOL 1124KAnatomy and Physiology II

4 credits

OCTA 1211Analysis of Human Movement

2 credits

OCTA 1300Introduction to OTA

3 credits

OCTA 1410Therapeutic Media

4 credits

OCTA 1421Psychosocial Practice for the OTA

4 credits

OCTA 1422Physical Practice for the OTA

6 credits

OCTA 2110Adaptive Techniques for OTA

2 credits

OCTA 2230OTA Seminar

3 credits

OCTA 2224Innovative Practice for the OTA

2 credits

OCTA 2323Pediatric Practice for the OTA

5 credits

OCTA 2541Level II Fieldwork

6 credits

OCTA 2542Level II Fieldwork

6 credits

Total Hours: 72